Recruiting has been heating up for Munford’s Sylvester Smith. The sophomore safety earned a four-star rating by 247 Sports last week. Smith is ranked the No.1 safety in Alabama for the Class 2023 and nationally is ranked No. 8.
“Being a four-star prospect really didn’t change anything,” Smith said. “I still have the same work ethic; I’m going out every day grinding and helping my teammates.”
A strong showing in the Under Armour Camp Series played a vital role in Smith earning a four-star rating from 247 Sports.
“247 (Sports) they have been looking at me for a minute,” Smith said. “I talked to a few of them at the UA camp. I went there and performed well. I didn’t know how high they were going to put me. I ended up being the No.1 safety in the state, No.8 safety in the nation, and No.3 overall.”
Smith had a stellar 2020 campaign as he earned first-team all-state honors. The 5-foot-11, 195 safety recorded 43 tackles, seven interceptions, four pass breakups, and a tackle for a loss for the Lions.
“He got better as the season went along,” Munford head coach Michael Easley said. “He has a lot of God-given ability, and he is a very talented young man. He is just scratching the surface of where he is going to get to, I think. I am eager to watch him grow over the next couple of years.”
Going into the season, Smith’s lone offer was from Mercer. After the season, things began to pick up as he has received offers from Mercer, Tennessee, UAB, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Penn State, Western Kentucky, Georgia, Oklahoma, Maryland, Michigan, South Carolina, Florida State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Miami, Central Florida and Florida.
Smith the recruiting process has been good, but at times it has been difficult with him being so young.
“It takes a toll on you talking to all these different coaches and worrying about this and that,” Smith said. “It’s fun sometimes. I talked to Gus Malzahn on (Thursday) and that was amazing. Every kid my age doesn’t get the chance to talk to Gus Malzahn. It's is a good experience.”
Even though Smith has picked up several big offers over the last few months, he said it hasn’t allowed it to change him.
“I just think about where I came from,” Smith said. “Coming from where I came from the only thing that you can do is be humble. I’ve dreamed of moments like this. … I’m not done yet; I still have two more seasons left.”
Smith said this honor only motivates him to work harder going forward.
“I have a big target on my back,” he said. “It’s a bunch of kids that want to go against me, so I have to work like no other. While you are still sleeping, I am up at 5 a.m. putting in that work. While you sleep at 9 p.m., I am in the gym lifting weight. I’m going to go get it every single day.”